Witkin ’00, Weiner ’87, Berman ’84 Involved in Arts and Culture

Andrew Witkin '00.

Andrew Witkin '00

Artist Andrew Witkin ’00 Wins Foster Prize
Andrew Witkin ’00 was recently awarded the prestigious Institute of Contemporary Art’s 2008 James and Audrey Foster Prize of $25,000. He was one of four finalists whose work went on show at the ICA in Boston in November (the exhibition ends March 1). His art work on display, Untitled, 1990, is an installation of carefully arranged personal effects and impersonal furniture.

According to the Boston Globe, the “arrangement reflects aspects of the artist’s own life, which is both fervently social (he works at the Barbara Krakow Gallery on Newbury Street and has a wide circle of friends) and highly controlled. The overall effect is strangely haunting, at once crowded with memory and desire and devastatingly empty.”

A resident of Jamaica Plain, Witkin also has another installation, Others Among Others, on exhibit at LaMontagne Gallery in South Boston (through Feb. 14). The show, which includes three racks of 144 cotton T-shirts, each stamped with text, was favorably reviewed in the Boston Globe.

Matthew Weiner '87

Matthew Weiner '87

Matthew Weiner ’87 Seals a Two-Year Deal with Lionsgate TV; Wins Producers Guild Award for Mad Men
Matthew Weiner, the creator, co-producer, and writer of the award-winning AMC series, Mad Men, received a two-year deal in January with Lionsgate TV, which will have him overseeing the series for two more seasons. The agreement also covers TV development and the prospect of developing a feature film for Lionsgate.
In January Weiner won the Producers Guild of America award for his work on Mad Men. The same month, the series also received the Best Ensemble in a Television Drama from the Screen Actors Guild of America. More here.

Pianist Donald Berman ’84 Has Two New CDs

Donald Berman
Donald Berman ’84 (Photo by Iannis Delatolas)

Pianist Donald Berman plays on two new recordings, Americans in Rome: Music by Fellows of the American Academy in Rome (Bridge Records), for which he served as artistic director, and The Light That Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives (New World Records). These two recordings were chosen separately as “North American Disc of the Month” in the January and February issues of BBC Music Magazine.

Americans in Rome consists of four CDs featuring music by Rome Prize-winning composers from 1920 to 2000 and provides a compelling glimpse of the history of American music, with American masters side by side with younger innovators. In its review of the recording, BBC Music Magazine commented that Berman “shows great stylistic flexibility, both between pieces and within Tamar Diesendruck’s multifarious Sound Reasoning in the Tower of Babel.”

On The Light That Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives, Berman collaborates with soprano Susan Narucki. The CD contains 27 songs by Charles Ives, offering a wide range of his compositions. Each song evokes memory through stories and characters drawn from Ives’ life.

In a January review of the Ives recording, Vivien Schweitzer in The New York Times said: “The painterly details of Ives’s songs are vividly conveyed by the bright-voiced Susan Narucki and the pianist Donald Berman on a new disc whose 27 diverse selections … highlight Ives’s multiple influences. Those included European Romanticism and religious and secular American tunes, which he meshed with his own inventive, radical harmonies. Like Bartok, Ives used both simple folk melodies and dissonance, sometimes blending them.”

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu